This year sucks to even try to write about as a recap. This might even read as some kind of rambling compared to other years. 2020 didn’t go as planned for just about everyone. I had a lot of great plans for this year to try to really take my Instagram and blog to the next level. Obviously, March 2020 and Covid-19 hit, destroying all plans for the rest of the year. The concept of being a superfan and promoter of food and restaurants doesn’t matter when restaurants are struggling or not open. As the pandemic continued on, I found myself struggling with how often I could reasonably order takeout, how much I was willing to be in public, how much I was willing to eat in a restaurant or outside at a restaurant, and does it even pay for me to actively and regularly try to keep this blog and Instagram going.

So first, let’s check in to see how I did with my 2020 Goals…

  • Still gain more Instagram followers – 4,000 is a good goal. Let’s get serious though, it should be more than that (Tell Your Friends). However, since it seems to only grow about 1,000 a year, I’ll stick to that.
    I have 3,835 followers at the time of writing. Not bad, but really not great. Pandemic definitely impacted this.
  • Keep collaborating with other accounts – Everyone getting together allows us to try new restaurants, get new ideas and make new friends.
    Didn’t happen. Pandemic.
  • Write more, cook more at home, reach out to restaurants and get in the kitchen – All are carry-over goals since I basically failed on all those.
    • Write more – More than 12 blog posts
      I did 3 posts and 2 evergreen list posts. I kinda gave up trying to write things around May.
    • Cook more – 2 cool meals a month
      Well, I cooked a lot this year because I wasn’t eating out all the time. I actually accomplished a goal.
    • Contact restaurants – Email/message/call 1 restaurant a week
      Nope. 
    • Get in the kitchen – Along with the above, see if restaurants are interested in having an observer
      Nope. Pandemic.
  • Plan more events – I like planning events for Foodies. I want to keep that going but also expand. I would love to plan some events anyone could attend. I have ideas. Maybe they are good. The most difficult part is finding a good time of year, a good location and good food and drink.
    Nope. Pandemic. 
Here’s a reminder of how 2019 ended with a great foodie happy hour

I’ll highlight a couple of really cool things like the fact I was a guest on a podcast, featured in two Pittsburgh websites, and a finalist on a Best of PGH list.

  • In January, I was a guest on the YaJagoff Podcast to talk about food blogging and instagram in Pittsburgh. It was a lot of fun to get to talk about it.
  • In August, I was nominated as a top 10 Local Food Influencer in the PGH City Paper, which was an honor, but didn’t make it into the top 3.
  • In September, I was featured in The Incline weekly newsletter and then again in October in a separate post about multiple local foodies.
  • Also in September, I was featured in The Pitt News talking about how I became an Instagram foodie.
My promo Instagram Story for Best of PGH

But what have I been doing all year? I was fortunate enough to be able to work from home over the last 9 months. However, my job didn’t slow down when I went home. It became busier. Everyone being home meant people I worked with seemed to be more engaged in their jobs. People actually were trying to complete our projects. I wasn’t used to this. Unfortunately, this meant that not only was I not going to restaurants, but I didn’t have as much time for food photos and food blogging.


During the first few months of quarantine, I was doing takeout for about a third of my meals. I almost always order either over the phone or directly from the restaurant website and almost always did pickup. I mostly ordered from restaurants and food trucks which I was already normally visiting. I was also doing a lot of beer pickups from local breweries. I got in the habit, as a single male, of buying a lot of family meals from restaurants. Depending on the restaurant, I would get 3 to 5 meals out of a family meal. 

I was also doing a lot of cooking at first. Tons of dishes I could eat for 6 or so meals. I was really doing what I could to avoid going to the grocery store. However, by meal 4 of the same thing, I was starting to get bored. This is why I really don’t do much meal planning. I also experimented with some baking. I realized baking is definitely not my strength. I’m much better at eating baked goods.

I was also drinking. A lot. I went through a lot of beer. I got rid of a lot of old fridge beers that were taking up space and replaced them with a lot of really good local beers. I made it a mission to finish off old bottles of liquor so I could replace them with better ones. 

Me in May with crazy hair and beard

By June, I had put on a bunch of weight, and basically destroyed my health. No one really warned us that by staying home and drinking and eating everything in sight as a coping method, that you could actually do some real damage to your body. I gained 10 pounds in 3 months and gave myself a gout flare up. Gout is otherwise known as the disease of kings due to being common in people who overindulge in certain foods and drinks. I spent about 2 week with an inflamed foot and feeling like death since gout can have symptoms similar to the flu. I changed so much of my diet. Less red meat. Less beer and whiskey. Basically spent my summer eating salads, chicken and fish. Ugh. This sucked. Gout is painful. Beef, beer and whiskey are delicious. Lesson is take care of yourself while you’re sitting around never leaving the house and never seeing anyone.

Over the summer, even as restaurants were returning to dine-in service, I ate mostly at places offering outdoor seating. I honestly wasn’t too crazy about the idea of sitting inside with a bunch of strangers without masks even though they were more than 6 ft away. Only a couple of times did I eat indoors at restaurants and it personally left me feeling uncomfortable. I believe that most restaurants were doing everything required by them to keep the restaurant clean. I did not trust other people to be responsible enough to follow recommendations to wear masks and not social distance prior to visiting a restaurant. If I understand anything about people, most will not make responsible choices. I know based on my years of going out still with a cold or drinking for hours in a bar, responsible choices go out the window pretty fast when there is a more fun option than being responsible.

These last few months of 2020 have been rather unexciting. I did random takeout. I did some partnerships like with Ten four Social which gave me the opportunity to volunteer with the Juju Foundation on Thanksgiving. I started to try new things with photos and lighting. I’m trying to learn and understand the appeal of Instagram Reels and Tiktok (I don’t get it). 

Volunteering on Christmas

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to work much with restaurants or other foods this year for the obvious reasons. I did a few things. Some went very well. Others I would probably never want to do again. A big part of spending time not getting to do many really cool opportunities along with some of the actions restaurants and brands have taken over the course of 2020 have made me really reflect on what I want to do going forward.

Unrelated to food, I spent a ton of time this year hiking. I was something I really enjoyed but got to do much more this year. I visited a bunch of State and local parks. Next year I’d like to do more camping and explore some parks in other states. 

Camping breakfast

So what am I gonna try to do in 2021. The answer is I have no clue. I thought many times in 2020 about putting AlexEatsTooMuch on a hiatus or ending completely. So here’s the thing, my 2021 goals are basically the same as 2020.

  • Gain more Instagram followers – 4,500 is a good goal considering we will still be dealing with a pandemic for another 6 months and I probably won’t get to do too many cool things.
  • Resume collaborating with other accounts – Everyone getting together allows us to try new restaurants, get new ideas, and make new friends.
    Write more, cook more at home, reach out to restaurants, and get in the kitchen – All are carry-over goals since I basically failed on all those.
    • Write more – 12 blog posts
    • Cook more – 2 cool meals a month
    • Contact restaurants – Email/message/call 1 restaurant a week
    • Get in the kitchen – Along with the above, see if restaurants are interested in having an observer
  • Plan more events – I like planning events for Foodies. I want to keep that going but also expand. I would love to plan some events anyone could attend. I have ideas. Maybe they are good. The most difficult part is finding a good time of year, a good location, and good food and drink.

For everyone else, I hope you made it through 2020 ok. Let’s look forward to being able to return to some sorta normal in 2021. I’m looking to get back to normal whenever that happens.